A major international military exercise planned to take place near Glasgow has created concern for a pod of whales in the Clyde. 

Rescuers will attempt to herd the northern bottlenose whales back out to sea today using boats.

The British Divers Marine Life Rescue Medics (BDMLR) have monitored the pod for the last month in and around the River Clyde.

A pair of whales was first spotted at the mouth of the Clyde near Isle of Cumbrae. 

Since then five whales have been spotted in separate locations in Loch Long, with some entering smaller lochs nearby.

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Concerns have been raised over the animals which are very sensitive to underwater sounds ahead of the Exercise Joint Warrior. 

The BDMLR will be joined by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as they attempt to ensure the whales are safe. 

A spokesman for BDMLR said: “This will be a very carefully planned operation carried out under our licence from NatureScot for exactly this type of situation where we need to try to move free swimming cetaceans to safety.

“This of course does come with risks of its own and there is no guarantee it will be successful given the depth of water and distance that needs to be covered, so will be undertaken with as much care as possible.

“We will of course reassess our actions and options if the whales decide that they will not go.

“We are very grateful for all of the support the team has had from the local residents and boat operators who have offered their assistance with this, as well as the MoD, who will be joining the BDMLR rescue boat coming in from Fife to carry out this operation.

“All we can do now is wish everyone involved the very best and hope for a positive outcome.”